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» Paul Manuell Wins RYCO 24•7 NZ V8 Utes Series In Taupo Thriller

Coming into the final round of the RYCO 24•7 NZ V8 Utes Racing Championship, Paul Manuell had a big lead. Yet with the season’s largest field assembled for the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park event, it wasn’t going to be easy for him.

Come Race #1 that afternoon, Manuell stormed ahead of the pack. By lap 2, Manuell was stretching his lead, but nothing could separate positions 2 to 5 as the Dias/Rudd/Ward/Gibson show hit the road. Lap after lap, they traded blows but not places.

The reverse-grid Race #2 on Sunday morning, a strong contingent of RYCO 24•7 staff and customers looked on at such intensity and rivalry between the drivers.

With Manuell now holding an unassailable championship lead, Race #3 late in the afternoon would decide the remaining places. The intensity showed right from the start as Manuell, Rudd, and Dias ran three-wide around turn 1, Manuell eventually getting his nose in front.

Come to the final lap, he carried a huge lead through to the chequered flag; such was the dominance of Manuell, to become a second-time winner of the RYCO 24•7 NZ V8 Utes championship. As the curtain came down on his V8 utes career, RYCO 24•7‘s Caroline Thompson presented Manuell with his trophy at the evening’s prizegiving.

Manuell leaves the V8 Utes category in a strong position, clearing the way for a new champion to emerge as the new season begins in late 2021.

The RYCO 24•7 NZ V8 Utes Championship leader board:

1st Paul Manuell HOLDEN 408 points
2nd Peter Ward HOLDEN 316 points
3rd Shane Dias HOLDEN 315 points
4th Simon Ussher F FORD 249 points
5TH Stuart Monteith HOLDEN 204 points
6th Greg Kroef FORD 203 points
7th Paul Fougere HOLDEN 198 points
8th Phil Ross HOLDEN 192 points
9th Brett Rudd FORD 165 points
10th Brad Kroef FORD 102 points
11th Matt Spratt FORD 101 points
12th Jake Stoneman FORD 84 points
13th Jeff Kernohan FORD 67 points
14th Matt Gibson HOLDEN 57 points
15th Shaggy Lowe FORD 51 points
16th Dave Kernohan FORD 34 points
17th Liam Porter FORD 30 points

RYCO 24•7 has had a long and successful history in motorsport and will continue to do so moving forward.

Credit: LIVE Advertising
Photography: Chris Dillon

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